Top Challenges for Fuel Retailers

25 Jan 2017, Posted by McPherson Oil in Industry Information

Gas Station | McPherson OilConvenience stores literally help keep America running. That’s because hundreds of thousands of c-stores provide most everybody with the fuel they need to keep commerce and communities moving.

But who takes care of the c-store? Fuel retailers face challenges every day as they strive to meet the needs of consumers who stop in for gas and make purchases at their stores.

This is where having the right retail fuel service as a partner can make a big difference in operating a profitable c-store with loyal customers.

Fuel Retailers Challenged by Emergencies

Regardless of whether you run a branded or unbranded retail fuel location, one challenge you can count on is the unexpected. Emergency situations happen on their own timetable and can cause disruptions for your customers if they are not handled quickly. For example, you may need a fuel delivery outside normal working hours. This may be due to a sudden customer rush, or tightening of the oil supply or a weather-related emergency.

One way fuel retailers can proactively address this challenge is to partner with a retail fuel service that will make deliveries when you need it, even if it’s outside of your established schedule.

Rerouting is a Challenge for Fuel Retailers

Routing is another challenge faced by fuel retailers.  Some fueling stations are located in remote areas. This can make it tricky to find a dependable fuel supplier. Fuel retailers must also factor in variable road conditions. Roads used to transport fuel to c-stores may be blocked due to construction, traffic patterns, and weather events. In these situations, fuel trucks will need to be rerouted to fulfill orders. Rerouting may also be necessary due to last minute orders, cancellation of orders, or truck breakdowns.

To overcome this challenge, fuel retailers should select a retail fuel service with an extensive fleet of trucks and a strong network of local carriers. This ensures that fuel can reach a convenience station no matter where it’s located or the circumstances on delivery day.

Fuel Retailers Face Challenges with Logistics Planning

Fuel retail stores are in a unique position when it comes to their business model. While they may not make a large profit from fuel sales, fuel is a big draw for customers to visit their convenience stores. This brings up a variety of challenges around logistics planning. This includes everything from formulating delivery schedules to managing inventory. Have too little fuel in your inventory and you won’t be able to meet customer demand. Carry too much inventory and you will have spent resources that will take a while to benefit your bottom line.

Fuel retailers can alleviate this challenge by partnering with a retail fuel service provider with experience in logistics planning. They can share best practices and provide employee training on forecasting fuel demand, inventory management, and delivery scheduling.

McPherson Oil provides retail fuel service to hundreds of convenience stores every day. We can help you develop a reliable and efficient fuel distribution program for your business. Contact us today at 888-802-7500.